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Can Story Themes Help Pantsers Write?

Landscape with Magnifying Loupe in foreground with text: Themes: Our Story's Big Picture

My favorite blogger, Janice Hardy, had another great post last week. This time she talked about how writers can develop their theme. She shared three tips for understanding how themes work in our stories. One of her tips struck me—a confirmed pantser—as a great way to keep our pantsed stories […]

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February 19, 2013

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How “The Amazing Spider-Man” Rocks Subtext

The Amazing Spider-Man movie poster with text added: "Subtext and" [The Amazing Spider-Man]

Subtext? In a comic book movie? Really, Jami? Yes, really. Now, I’m not calling The Amazing Spider-Man groundbreakingly genius or anything, but it’s an, er, amazingly good movie character-wise compared to… Oh, say, the Green Lantern. If you remember from my Green Lantern posts about how how not to write plot or characters, […]

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July 10, 2012

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What Stories *Won’t* You Write?

Square piece of road pavement painted with "STOP" in the middle of the woods

In my last post, we talked about voice and how we tend to write the same types of characters, premises, and themes over and over.  That’s not a bad thing.  Those stories resonate with us as writers. Similarly, there are stories we would never write.  Stories might be so against our internal grain […]

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April 17, 2012

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Do Your Stories Match Your Voice?

Opened padlock and keys

I’ve been having a great conversation with Serena Yung in the comments of one of my posts about voice from a few weeks ago, so voice has been on my mind again this week.  When I found a fantastic article by author Julie Leto about voice and how it relates to our writing, […]

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April 12, 2012

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What If Our Story Idea Has Already Been Done?

Computer screen duplicating image into infinity

In my last post about Google search terms, I mentioned that we sometimes have lots of content around a search’s keywords and yet have never answered the question directly.  In that case, Google just gave us an idea for a blog post.  *smile* One search term that led people to my blog this […]

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March 22, 2012

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Using Google Search Terms for Fun and Education

Magnifying glass

After the last few weeks of “serious issues,” I needed a silly break, so I looked up the search terms that recently brought people to my blog.  Google didn’t disappoint, as several phrases caught my eye. Every blogger should check the search terms associated with their blog occasionally, and not […]

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March 20, 2012

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How to Use the “Save the Cat” Beat Sheet for Revisions

Cover image of Blake Snyder's "Save the Cat"

Before I start, thank you to everyone who commented, tweeted, and emailed me with support after my last post about losing my cat.  You all have filled me with virtual hugs and put a smile on my face.  Thank you.  *hugs back* In fact, after writing that post and reading […]

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February 9, 2012

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How to Force a Story to Evolve: 6 Revision Tips

Collection of butterflies and chrysalises

*Quick Reminder: Don’t forget the Pitch Your Shorts pitch session coming January 10th.  Get your 10-60K stories ready.  More details to come.* I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season, no matter what holidays you celebrate.  While I’m enjoying some time with my family, I’ll share this post originally written […]

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December 27, 2011

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What Comes After a First Draft?

A baby's hand on an adult hand

Last week, we talked about how stories change from the initial story seed to the first draft.  Then it dawned on me that I’ve experienced that same evolution between a first draft and a finished draft, where so much changed that I hardly recognized the original story any more. For fun, […]

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September 20, 2011

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Do Stories Need a Theme?

Disney's California Adventure theme park

Earlier this week, Julie Musil had a great post about how to create story endings that resonate.  I almost wrote an epic comment to her post, but decided to save my wordiness for here.  And I get to use one of my vacation pictures—Disney’s California Adventure theme park, get it? […]

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May 26, 2011

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